P&M 39: Imposter Syndrome: interview with expert Dr Valerie Young

Imposter Syndrome! 

As Dr Valerie asks:

  • Do you chalk your success up to luck, timing, or computer error?
  • Do you believe “If I can do it, anybody can”?
  • Do you agonize over even the smallest flaws in your work?
  • Are you crushed by even constructive criticism, seeing it as evidence of your “ineptness?”
  • When you do succeed, do you secretly feel like you fooled them again?
  • Do you worry that it’s just a matter of time before you’re “found out?”
  • That nagging sense that we might be ‘found out’ one day!

If you answered yes or relate to any of these then that may be a sign that you suffer imposter syndrome.

This incredibly interesting topic is unpacked beautifully by Dr Valerie Young.

Three key take-aways that this short conversation gave me are:

  1. We need to look at how we define competence as this will show how we handle failure.
  2. We don’t need to have all the capability (all the degrees and credentials), we just need the capability to work things out, to make sense of things.
  3. And the biggest take-away: if you want to stop feeling like an imposter, stop thinking like one!

The reframe: the more I practice the better I get!

Valerie’s Background:

Valerie Young digital-webDr. Valerie Young is an internationally known speaker and the author of the award-winning book The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women: Why Capable People Suffer from the Impostor Syndrome and How to Thrive in Spite of It with Random House now available in five languages.

A former manager at a Fortune 200 company herself, Valerie has shared her highly relatable and practical advice to thousands of executives, managers, and professionals in the US, Canada, and Europe at such diverse organizations as Apple, IBM, Procter & Gamble, Boeing, BP, and Harvard university.

Her work has been cited around the world including in The Wall Street Journal, Psychology Today, Science, O magazine, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Globe & Mail, and BBC radio as well as in leading business publications in Brazil and Denmark.

She earned her doctoral degree from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst where her research focused on understanding and eliminating the psychological barriers preventing women from embracing their full potential in school and in the workplace. In addition to her research, Valerie was also the founding coordinator of the Social Justice Education program which pioneered what is now popularly known as diversity training.

In addition, Valerie is the founder of ChangingCourse.com where she shows career change seekers how they can create a living doing what they love. Now in its 21sth year, her Changing Course newsletter is read by over 23,000 people worldwide.

Check out Valerie at www.impostersyndrome.com

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